Ghana Hosts Diaspora Engagement Forum

By Ann Brown Published: May 10, 2014, 7:00 pm

Ghanaians who live outside of Africa met in Accra for a Diaspora Engagement Forum.

Organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MFA&RI) with support from the German International Co-oporation, the aim of the event is also to provide stakeholders with data relevant for the enhancement of the capacity of Ghanaians abroad and people of African descent for national development.

The forum will discuss the experiences of Ghanaians abroad, challenges of re-integration, participation of the Ghanaian diaspora in national events, and the way forward, as well as investment and development opportunities for the Ghanaian diaspora.

“But the views of Ghanaian returnees and peoples of African descent who have lived and worked in varied circumstances abroad and at home are important. They have also re-integrated in Ghana successfully and have been able to establish viable businesses in the country,” Mercy Debrah Karikari, Director of Administration, MFA&RI explained.

“Since the struggle for independence, our nation has depended on the resources of the Ghanaian Diaspora and peoples of African descent. However, our early attempts at using the resources of our compatriots abroad were not structured to ensure sustained results.

“In some cases, statements and actions were not coherent, causing considerable frustration, and undermined the very effort of optimizing the benefits to be derived from our nationals abroad,” she said.

The Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda gave relevance to migration and development and its successor (Development Policy) will highlight diaspora engagement as an important aspect of migration and development, reports Ghana Business.

“In an era of globalization and heightened competitiveness in the pursuit of national interest, no nation can develop effectively without implementing a clear strategy that seeks to harness the potentials of a majority of its human resources, including its diaspora and those who consider that country as a homeland.”

“It is our firm conviction that leveraging on the multiple roles of the diaspora as senders of remittances, investors, philanthropists, innovators, exportable labour and first movers in the growth of important sectors such as tourism, health and in the development of human capital, may well contribute to weaning Ghana off its dependency on aid and development financing,” she added.

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